Category Archives: Marx

Co-research in Vietnam for the anthropology classroom

New paper:
Co-research in Vietnam for the anthropology classroom
Do Thi Xuan Huong & John Hutnyk

50 free ‘eprints’ for those who want to read it now – https://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/DJGVNGGB5JEUHXFUPYZF/full?target=10.1080/00131857.2020.1752187

This will in due course belong to a special issue on Education.

Screen Shot 2020-05-04 at 23.35.24

The Rumour of Marx. Happy May Day.

marx cover bangla style (Ray)Emailing a friend today – a Leftist of significant standing, and seven decades – who has found joy in reading Marx after attending a workshop here.

She writes:

‘Very fun reading, which you’d never guess just based on his reputation.’

Exactly exactly exactly.
And the footnotes are really worth their time in gold, where he calls Pop Malthus a sycophant and plagiariser, and later Burke, whom Malthus plagiarises, is in turn unable to have an original thought…
Even John Stuart Mill, whom Marx has around for lunch on occasion, comes in for hefty shots of gnarled abuse, as should be the case for an agent of. the East India Company.
And the immortal line in the text at the end of chapter 6 about the market as that perfect utopia of freedom, property, equality and Bentham. Poor Mr Bentham, having started the London Port police force – a hidden barb is there where Marx says the police invent the criminal – his name also comes to stand for the entire system. Foucault’s later attribution of Benthamite to the surveillance state is misty-eyed in comparison.

How great.
But it must have been so hard to translate into Tieng Viet, so its no surprise there are occasional liberties taken with the text. Mostly improvements :)
Happy May Day

John

A bleeding process with a vengeance

There are few better descriptions of colonial extraction than this one where Marx eviscerates the Brits in India. He was on the case right till the end, in this case just before he heads off to Africa. Here is part of the letter to Danielson, in case you have not looked at it in a while:

In India serious complications, if not a general outbreak, is in store for the British government. What the English take from them annually in the form of rent, dividends for railways useless to the Hindus; pensions for military and civil service men, for Afghanistan and other wars, etc., etc. – what they take from them without any equivalent and quite apart from what they appropriate to themselves annually within India, speaking only of the value of the commodities the Indians have gratuitously and annually to send over to England – it amounts to more than the total sum of income of the sixty millions of agricultural and industrial labourers of India! This is a bleeding process, with a vengeance!

Marx, Letter to Nikolai Danielson
London, February 19, 1881

 

929-Karl-Marx-Das-Kapital-India-Stamp-1983

See here for Marx in Calcutta 

 

 

The model for teaching at TDTU – in collaboration with Đỗ Thị Xuân Hương and Võ Nguyễn Thiện Phúc

A short film made to explain a model of teaching for a class on Capital and Anthropology/Mapping at Ton Duc Thang University, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, 2018 – Director: Đỗ Thị Xuân Hương Camera and Editor: Võ Nguyễn Thiện Phúc

https://dai.ly/x7obout

Screen Shot 2019-11-22 at 19.39.27

 

Transcript of the film in English and Tieng Viet Click Appendix_bilingual_Tieng_Anh_va_Tieng_Viet.

 

Opiates and the Volk

Digging out old snippets I’d forgot I kept handy – clearly not that handy, but near enough to the top of my inbox that I could find them again by accident: here it is: – in Marx’s ‘famous’ quote, it is really noticeable that few people open up the quote to see what Marx said in context. There are several translations, but I will spare you my cod philology about the differences between volkes as masses or peoples etc. But see this in context and it looks quite remarkably different. Marx writes:

“Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.

The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions.”

So. there it is – I hope you agree that the opium looks a little different now, eh god-botherers.

And that’s also why we keep religion and politics for conversations at Parties. Currently cooking the books on several hot plates, so here also today’s earlier word dump on debates: cf, thinking about the electioneering piggy pollies in the primaries in the US and the Brexit-Smexit in the UK – the great political debate non-starter for small-fry (on cuisine and writing hors d-oeuvres). What is going on though? Both sides serving up braised spam or an inflammatory buffet of irradiated beef and biscuit, half-baked pyromaniacs and home-brewed arsonists across the table mess with even the most poultry offers to cauterize this combustible stew, while gourmet confectioners dine out on a smorgasbord of swill, a catered distillation of half-chewed gum fed to the gluttons of the press, all consumers malnourished on a formulaic diet of ill-digested ruminant crud, while the butchers of etiquette gnaw the bones of contention at the feast of the dead, garnished with an aroma of burnt offerings on a menu of left-over table scraps. A dinner party of despair, sandwiches without meat, potatoes or ham.

Marx on farming, money markets, silver to India and umbrella manufacture

The recent excerpts from Marx’s notebooks from 1866-1869 coming out in MEGA IV / 19 offer much of fabulous interest (after the revelations of IV/18). Here he is cribbing notes from The Economist and is revealed yet again as concerned with the ecology and exploitation of agriculture, of the Raj expropriations in India (drain on silver) and micro detail about production processes.

And all this in a marvellous German-English mish-mash as all notes can be. Recall this is a year after the publication of Capital vol 1.

Here he is on English farming:

Grosser Unterschied z. B. in Midland Counties agreements, containing terms and stipulations so one-sided, so onerous and unfair towards the tenant farmers that incredible. Besides regulations as to cropping and farm-management, which place the tenants most completely at the landlord’s mercy, provided that the landlord shall have power to distrain for his rent a year or 9 months in advance! Z. B. where a tenancy commenced on 25. March, when one quarter’s rent due on 24. June, the landlord is empowered by the terms to enforce by distress the whole year’s rent to then following 25. March – 9 months in advance! Diese tenants have little or no capital, kaum any live stock of their own, also obliged to let their grass and aftergrass, or to take in stock to keep, in order to consume the produce of their land. In such cases, the hirers of the grass, or the putters out of the livestock, have no idea that their animals can be seized for payment of the tenants’ rent in advance. Yet in some districts the landlord or his agent relies on the opportunity of distraining the stock of strangers to secure the payment 13of the tenants’ rent. Wenn Dazu reservation u. preservation of game, the tenant farmers in a terrestrial purgatory. Lausestand dieser estates, charged too, meist mit debts and encumbrances.

Dagegen Musterfarm of Mr. Robert Leeds, of the West Lexham (Graf Leicester landlord), near Brandon, Norfolk. 1200 acres land, 1100 arable, 50 water meadows. „Whoever knows the district will be aware that the soil is light and sandy, only to be farmed profitably by being farmed highly.“ 20 years lease, Jagdrecht allein der tenant etc

„The homestead is fitted up with the best possible machinery, where corn is dressed, chaff cut, seed crushed, and cake ground by steam power. This cake a grand consideration at Lexham, where from 3 to 4 times the rent of the farm is annually expended in feeding stuffs and artificial manures. Er buys forward animals at from 20l. to 25l. each, and puts these on all the cake and corn they can eat, but never more than 2 bushels of roots a day. The beasts are on the farm 12‒16 weeks, and the yards are continually filled up with animals as those fit are disposed of. Except the bullocks bought in for grazing the water meadows, and which do not require any until July, alles sonst at Lexham is always eating cake, and the flock of ewes are now having 12 pound of cotton cake, with a limited ratio of bran at night. The breeding flock averages 300 ewes, and about 1200 hoggets are fattened during winter.“

and here on umbrellas (and books):

„In the case of the umbrella and parasol manufacture, the cover, as a constituent element of construction, represents from the entire cost of the finished article. The silk, the alpaca and Scotish gingham, of which the covers are made, are all imported, the former paying a duty of 60% and the latter two about 50% ad valorem, the variation being slight on the quality of the texture. The manufactured umbrella, covered with the same material, whose constituent parts are not taxed, either on the material used in their fabrication or on their sale, are, however, admitted under the present tariff at a duty of 35% ad valorem, or at a discriminating duty against the American and in favour of the foreign producer of from 15 to 25%. If we make allowance for the various U. St. internal revenue taxes, it is claimed by the American manufacturer that the discrimination in favour of the foreign producer is fully equal to 40%. It needs hardly to be added that, during the past 6 months imported umbrellas have been sold at auction in New York and Boston, with the original cost, duty, freight and charges paid in gold, for a less price than the American article can be manufactured; or that the business of making umbrellas and parasols in New York and Philadelphia, involving a capital of 2,000,000 dollars and employing the labour of some 5000 persons, a majority of whom are females, is threatened with utter destruction. In two instances cited to the Commission, umbrella manufactures have closed their factories in the U. St., and, with a view of exporting to this country, have transferred their capital and skill to Europe. In a communication submitted to the Commission by a committee of umbrella manufacturers, they state that, unless relief is speedily obtained, we can perceive no other possible course to pursue but the alternative of retiring entirely from the field, and leaving it entirely to foreign hands.“

Ebenso mit [also with] books.

„The Commission would add that at the present time the one article which, above all others, would seem to be a peculiar product of American industry, viz. Webster’s Spelling Book, is now being printed in large quantities in London for the use of American schools.“

 

and finally on India and Silver (dig at the irony of the French as couriers) and the implications for fluctuating credit availability, which is key to Volume three:

For the present the foreign drain (to the East) is checked; the silver market in London is dull.

Where does our gold go? Früher, in drain to India, silver went, nicht gold. Grund: Till a recent period, whatever silver was wanted for India was collected on the Continent and sent here. We sent it on to India. But now there is a French compagny sending silver, and French seamen carrying it from Marseilles without its coming here … Our gold goes to pay for the silver which formerly used to be sent to us bodily; but now it is used on our account indirectly, it is transmitted from Marseilles to India to pay our debts.

Many people wonder why, when there is a quick rise of money in Lombard Street, it should be cheap on the Stock Exchange. It is cheap in the latter, because it has quickly changed in the former. The quick change makes people uncertain u. dann der easiest market ist der Stock Exchange „from day to day“. Discount houses etc deal dann möglichst wenig in bills, use it daher on the Stock Exchange, where they can have it at once, just because they do not feel sure enough of the future to lock up their resources till definite dates.

 

https://megadigital.bbaw.de/exzerpte/detail.xql?id=1

Sumanta Banerjee Marx adda

In one part of the recently translated Spooky Encounters, Sumanta Banerjee chats with the picnicking ghostly Marx and Engels about Indian food in London:

‘Fish-and-chips has almost disappeared from the scene. Its exclusive position has been now taken over by chicken-tikka-kebab!’

They glanced at each other in sheer astonishment and said, ‘Really?’

Moor spoke with his usual fervour: ‘We must get to taste your food. But can we find the genuine stuff here? Most likely we will have to go to youir Calcutta to sample them.‘”

P25

I am so very pleased to see this and would have happily used it as a preface to my essay ‘Marx in Calcutta’ in City. Seems like we have always been tempting Marx with Mishti Doi:

https://hutnyk.files.wordpress.com/2018/10/marx-in-calcuttacity2018.pdf

Marx Trot on again in 2019?

The Marx Trot is going to return in the summer 2019. Stay tuned for details.

 

In the meantime, some old reading (the original posts have comments but you’d have to search). At the end I also post some links to the Lord Sothhampton pub, thanks Stephen Emms (possibly now sold, or a youth hostel) and to some Dickens family stuff since they lived on the same street as the Marxs in the early 1860s (Marx family at no. 9. Dickens’ mother, widowed sister-in-law, and two nieces). Alos a piece on the Marx houses, again, thanks Stephen Emms. All the stuff gathered for the Marx Trot will be familiar, but the story of the walks, the kids, the sore feet, phots, riot squad visit (really), the beers, confrontations with crypto hindu-fascist nazi sportscar madness hippies and buffet meals in honour of Mao is a story still to be told in full.

 

The Marx Trot 2009

Marx is buried in Highgate. So we start  at the end. Meet at the East Cemetery gate at 4pm. Watch the film ‘High Hopes’ beforehand if need be. Bring cigars.

The Marx family would often walk from Haverstock Hill to Soho, so we can too. As its a nice day. We’ll walk through the park. Hamstead Heath in fact, though other parks might distract our thoughts. Marx took part in a Hyde Park demonstration against the Sunday Observance laws and wrote an article on the Anti-Church demonstration of July 1855. We can read this on the way and contemplate the production of nature.

At the far end of Hamstead Heath is a favourite pub of the Marx’s – so we could visit Jack Straws castle. I found the following info on a cursory search:

Jack Straws Castle

NW3

Jack Straw’s Castle ought to be the perfect place for an inspiring pint. The situation is good, the history intriguing and the ghosts distinguished. Karl Marx drank here on the corner of Hampstead Heath, high above the foul air of 19th-century London. So did Charles Dickens, Leigh Hunt and Max Beerbohm. Jack Straw himself – one of the leaders of the peasants revolt of 1381 – allegedly rallied his pitchfork-wielding mob from a haywagon nearby.

From here we can walk down Heath Street to Chalk Farm and Grafton Terrace.

Marx lived at 3 Roxburgh Terrace, now part of Prince of Wales Road Kentish Town. Then he moved to 9 Grafton Terrace. He drank at the Lord Southampton on the corner of Southampton and Grafton. We’ll obviously have to spend some time here.

Then we head to central London.

Marx fenced in a salon off Oxford street – in Rathbone Place (not far a from Tottenham Court Rd tube).

The Manifesto was drafted and approved at (according to internet gab – which I suspect is apocryphal):

The Red Lion, Soho [Closed] – pub details

Address: 20 Great Windmill Street, London, W1D 7LQ

Not many people know this but this pub is where Marx and Engels and others used to meet, where the first meetings of the Communist Party were held and where the Communist Manifesto was initially drafted and approved. This is a historic building in the history of Politics and it should have a Blue Plaque on it. I hope the people that live there when its converted know the relevance of this place.

Now apparently reopened as an “AT One” – we could I suppose heckle them a little [its an awful bar – heckle a lot – they have no idea where they are, adn beers were 4 quid for a bottle of sol – pah!]

When he first came to London Marx lived on Dean Street – We can visit Marx’s House and Blue Plaque – its on the second floor.

Then across to the British Museum. Obviously. There will be a test on your recall of particular passages from the footnotes. Someone will recite the bees and architects passage.

And finally, though I disagree with much of what Comrade Germain has done with Stop the War (or rather unstop it), here I think there is a hint of what is to be done as the evening closes in – a crawl up Tottenham Court Road starting at the Rising Sun.

“Karl Marx and Frederick Engels were refugees following the defeated 1848 revolutions in Europe. Marx wrote Capital in the reading room of the British Museum. He and Engels enjoyed pub crawls on Tottenham Court Road” [from an article by Lindsay Germain]

And by then wee should be able to make up our own after dinner entertainments. I do think one day a less ad hoc version of this walk is necessary – and I will prepare it – but this seems ok for starters. Leaving now.

 

Marx Trot 29.5.2011

Hi all,

As promised in one of the last lectures of Capital and Cultural Studies this year, it is proposed that we convene for ‘The Marx Trot’ on Sunday 29 May 2011
.
This involves various cultural social and political highlights, including visits to Marx’s grave, a couple of houses Marx lived in, Engles house, the pub in which the Communist Manifesto was adopted by the International Workingmen’s (sic) Association, some other places Marx and Engels drank in, and so on. Its mostly pubs…
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The day includes multiple options. Some of them are worthy and educational. The rest involve beer.
.
It is suggested that we meet at Red Lion Square at 1.30 pm. The Alternative Press Fair is on, zines like Nyx, The paper, and …Ment have a table, we can go support them, or something. Peruse the other rags and lament the demise of Pravda.
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Then get to Archway by 3.00 PM, in time to be at Highgate Cemetery, a ten minute walk, for 3.30pm (you do the math).
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After that, visits to Marx’s houses, local pub, Hamstead Heath, and in into Soho…. and on into the evening. Dinner as and when (chinese in Soho?) and other insurrectionary fun.
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Sound like a plan?
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red salute.
John
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ps. Notes from a previous Marx Trot are here. Pic From Sascha.
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pps. There are plenty of very excellent reasons to come out to Goldsmiths this month too – talks by Mick Douglas, Ishita Banerjea-Dube, Nawal el Saadawi – see here.
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ppps. for the 29th, the Alt PRess Fair here,
25 Red Lion Square
London WC1R 4RL
020 7242 8032

Underground: Holborn

but feel free to join later on the route.

if all else fails – 4pm at the grave. Bingo cards for the dead comms buried nearby might be a good idea.:
.
Highgate Cemetery Opening times:  from 10 am weekdays, 11am weekends

Closing time:   5pm British Summer Time (last admission 4.30pm) 4pm British Winter Time (last admission 3.30pm)

Please note: the Cemetery only accepts cash.

Entry:  £3 per adult / £2 for students with valid NUS card or equivalent

 

Marx Trot 2012 – July 7

Notice. The date has just been announced – The Marx Trot this year will be on July 7. Hurrah! Leaving from Archway tube 2:30 pm, then to Highgate Cemetery Marx’s Grave about 3pm – heading across the Heath to the old man’s local on Grafton Terrace – and onwards to Engels’ house, then to the pub – now crappy cocktail bar – where the Manifesto was adopted by the Communist League, and much more… All welcome.

,.

Last year’s trot (and links to previous) here: https://hutnyk.wordpress.com/2011/05/21/marx-trot-29-5-2011/

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Pics of the houses: http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/photo/london/index.htm

 

Marx Trot 2013 – July 7

karl-marx-grave-highgate

All welcome. A day of revolutionary dawdling, pints, and ending up awash somewhere on Tottenham Court Rd… The annual Marx trot this year will be on July 7. Lal Salaam!

We will again be leaving from Archway tube 2:30 pm, then to Highgate Cemetery Marx’s Grave about 3pm – heading across the Heath to the Lord Southhampton pub which was the old man’s local on Grafton Terrace – then onwards to Engels’ house, then to the pub where the Manifesto was adopted by the Communist League, – now a crappy cocktail bar – and more… All welcome (kids could surely come for the first couple of hours – but warning, its a longish walk across the heath between Highgate and the Grafton Terrace HouseBYO libations for the first part.

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Last year’s trot = https://hutnyk.wordpress.com/2012/07/03/marx-trot-2012-july-7-2/

(and links to previous) here: https://hutnyk.wordpress.com/2011/05/21/marx-trot-29-5-2011/

Pics of the houses: http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/photo/london/index.htm

Other links:

http://www.alphabetthreat.co.uk/pasttense/pdf/communistclub.pdf

The Great Windmill Street venue is where Liebknecht says the Manifesto was adopted by the League of the Just/German Workers Educational Association/Communist League – but some say it was at the White Hart in Dury Lane. In any case Marx lectures on Capital at Great Windmill Street, but see here:http://www.alphabetthreat.co.uk/pasttense/pdf/communistclub.pdf

For Leninists – a diversion on the trot might take in Charing Cross station, and areas near Kings Cross and Pentonville:http://sarahjyoung.com/site/2011/01/16/russians-in-london-lenin/

Dancing the first international! http://history-is-made-at-night.blogspot.co.uk/2009_10_01_archive.html

A pub crawl with Karl http://www.mytimemachine.co.uk/pubcrawl.htm

 

Marx Trot 2014

Marx Trot on sunday 13 July, starts at 2.30 archway tube…\

<note, May 2016, the next Marx Trot is planned for August 14, 2016. More details on this blog soon. This is just a date holder>

Mshelfie

A day of revolutionary dawdling, pints, and ending up awash somewhere on Tottenham Court Rd… The annual Marx trot this year will be on Sunday 13 July. All welcome. Lal Salaam!

We will again be leaving from Archway tube 2:30 pm, then to Highgate Cemetery Marx’s Grave about 3pm – heading across the Heath to the Lord Southampton pub which was the old man’s local on Grafton Terrace – then onwards to Engels’ house, then to the pub where the Manifesto was adopted by the Communist League, – now a crappy cocktail bar – and more… All welcome (kids could surely come for the first couple of hours – but warning, its a longish walk across the heath between Highgate and the Grafton Terrace House BYO libations for the first part).

[word to the wise: bring some tinnies in a bag – and sunscreen, umbrella as weather dictates and dosh for dinner (possibly in a footba-oriented venue). The early part of our route involves considerable walking – on the heath – kids are very welcome for the first few hours but after 7.00 it possibly gets a bit adult oriented – well, I mean we visit pubs Marx used to haunt – gespenst-like – in Soho. Mostly harmless, but its cup final night]

Previous trots = https://hutnyk.wordpress.com/2013/07/05/marx-trot-this-sunday-2-30-archway-tube-2/ and https://hutnyk.wordpress.com/2012/07/03/marx-trot-2012-july-7-2/and here: https://hutnyk.wordpress.com/2011/05/21/marx-trot-29-5-2011/

Pics of the houses: http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/photo/london/index.htm

Other links:

http://www.alphabetthreat.co.uk/pasttense/pdf/communistclub.pdf

The Great Windmill Street venue is where Liebknecht says the Manifesto was adopted by the League of the Just/German Workers Educational Association/Communist League – but some say it was at the White Hart in Dury Lane. In any case Marx lectures on Capital at Great Windmill Street, but see here:http://www.alphabetthreat.co.uk/pasttense/pdf/communistclub.pdf

For Leninists – a diversion on the trot might take in Charing Cross station, and areas near Kings Cross and Pentonville:http://sarahjyoung.com/site/2011/01/16/russians-in-london-lenin/

 

see also Lincoln Alpern: https://hutnyk.wordpress.com/2014/06/30/lincoln-emery-alpern-says-come-to-the-2014-marx-trot-in-this-teaser-from-last-year-marx-london/

 

Marx Trot Sunday August 14, 2016 #Marx #walkingtourlondon

This year the Marx Trot is planned for August 14, 2016

Meet 1pm Archway Tube.

bring enthusiasm, vox pop speechifying, money for drinks, drinks, sunscreen (we hope we will need suncreen).

Pic above is from the Maidan, in the area near Rani Rashmoni Avenue, Lenin Sirani, S.N.Banerjee Rd,  Kolkata, West Bengal.

Previous Marx Trot itinerary (roughly followed each time): We will again be leaving from Archway tube, then to Highgate Cemetery Marx’s Grave – heading across the Heath to the Lord Southampton pub which was the old man’s local on Grafton Terrace [they also sell juice] – then onwards to Engels’ house, then to the pub where the Manifesto was adopted by the Communist League, – now a crappy cocktail bar, so we prob won’t enter – and more… All welcome (kids could surely come for the first couple of hours – but warning, its a longish walk across the heath between Highgate and the Grafton Terrace House BYO libations for the first part).

[word to the wise: bring some tinnies in a bag at the start – and sunscreen, umbrella as weather dictates and dosh for dinner (if interested in Mao’s favourite London place late on). The early part of our route involves considerable walking – on the heath – kids are very welcome for the first few hours but after 7.00 it possibly gets a bit adult oriented – well, I mean we visit pubs Marx used to haunt – gespenst-like – mostly harmless]

 

Sort of part of this course in Nottingham:

https://hutnyk.wordpress.com/2016/06/30/reading-capital-in-nottingham-every-wednesday-11am-from-july-20-until-28-sept-2016/

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__

Pics of the  Marx/Engels houses:

http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/photo/london/index.htm

Other links:

http://www.alphabetthreat.co.uk/pasttense/pdf/communistclub.pdf

The Marx Trot is Party agnostic and non sectarian, except against Tories, other social fascist parties, brexit-racist pogrom enablers, and the majority of the Parliamentary Labour Party, with 40 or so exceptions.

Previous trots were =

https://hutnyk.wordpress.com/2014/06/29/marx-trot-2014/

https://hutnyk.wordpress.com/2013/07/05/marx-trot-this-sunday-2-30-archway-tube-2/

https://hutnyk.wordpress.com/2012/07/03/marx-trot-2012-july-7-2/and here: https://hutnyk.wordpress.com/2011/05/21/marx-trot-29-5-2011/

 

The Great Windmill Street venue is where Liebknecht says the Manifesto was adopted by the League of the Just/German Workers Educational Association/Communist League – but some say it was at the White Hart in Dury Lane. In any case Marx lectures on Capital at Great Windmill Street, but see here:http://www.alphabetthreat.co.uk/pasttense/pdf/communistclub.pdf

For Leninists – a diversion on the trot might take in Charing Cross station, and areas near Kings Cross and Pentonville:http://sarahjyoung.com/site/2011/01/16/russians-in-london-lenin/

All hail our boozers: #1, Lord Southampton, NW5

 

In a new weekly series, we go behind the scenes of a popular local boozer. First off, meet landlady Martha Mcgrath

A well-used dartboard at the Lord Southampton. All photos: Stephen Emms/ LBTM ltd
A well-used dartboard at the Lord Southampton. All photos: Stephen Emms/ LBTM ltd

Firstly, congratulations. With 43 years under your belt, we hear you’re the longest serving publican in the borough of Camden. How did you end up in this corner of NW5? 
I grew up in Ireland and we came over here when I was 17. We had a place in Blackfriars first, and in those days it was promotion to come to a bigger venue like this. When we took over in 1972, we were familiar with the area because my family already had pubs nearby: the Rose & Crown on Torriano Avenue was owned by my sister and brother-in-law in the late ‘60s, while the Exmouth Arms in Starcross Street was run by my brother.

Martha McGrath sitting by the open fire. Photo: SE
Martha McGrath sitting by the open fire. Photo: SE

What was the area like back then?
Queen’s Crescent, the high street nearby, had a Woolworth’s, a Sainsbury’s – it had it all.So tell us about the pub.
There were two fireplaces, a wall by the jukebox, and another where the arch is now, plus saloon, public and private bars. There was an off-license too, which the brewery got rid of in about ’74. There was also a bridge to the toilets (pictured), which remains. The whole back area was called the Kelly Bar, with a porthole and other memorabilia originating from the HMS Kelly Ship, commanded by Mountbatten in the Second World War. Sadly it was cleared out one day many years ago when we were on holiday.

What’s this about a Karl Marx connection? 
A pub was first put on a map in this position in 1752, apparently, but this building dates back to the 1850s. Yes, Karl Marx used to come in, but rumour has it that he wasn’t very generous. He liked people to buy him drinks rather than spending his money, so he’d have one or two, then go up and down the road knowing he’d bump into acquaintances who’d then shout him a pint.



A quirky bridge leads to the gents toilet. Note the inaccessible doors from the railing. Photo: SE
A quirky bridge leads to the gents toilet. Note the ‘floating’ doors, inaccessible from the railing. Photo: SE

Fast forward to 2015: what’s it like nowadays?
Much harder. Drinks are expensive, people haven’t got the money, and we’re competing with the supermarkets.Who are your customers now?
Four-fifths are regulars and very nice people: all men, a few women – but it’s a man’s pub, really – all in their forties or older. Our oldest is just coming up to eighty; youngest is in his thirties.

What about doing some food?
Years ago I used to do sandwiches and stuff like that, but then the building works in Maitland Park stopped. Now it’s all residential so people are not going to bother coming out to the pub to eat, are they? Very few of them go out for a meal round here. And as we’re up the backstreet not everyone knows we even exist. When I won an award for being the longest serving publican in Camden they had to look for us to find out where we were. So if they can’t find us, how do you expect to find customers?

Hopefully you’ll get a few more now that this is out.
Hopefully!

Handsome exterior. Photo: SE
Handsome exterior on the corner of Grafton Terrace, opposite St Pancras Almshouses. Photo: SE

What are your funniest memories? 
There are quite a few but they’re all too rude for publication. I mean rude. But loads of celebs have come in over the years: Chris Moyles, for a couple of years with his gang. Getting back a bit there was Peter o’ Toole, Pete Postlethwaite, Bananarama – it was the first pub they drank in when they arrived round here – and quite a few Eastenders. Bill Nighy was a very young boy when we came here, training in the old Bubble Theatre in Southampton Road.Any unusual customers?
My husband Phil is like Dr Doolittle: when he goes out to the park, he feeds everything. One day we were here and in comes a squirrel and it sits on the floor, waiting for some nuts. We’ve also had a fox wander in and have a walk around. And one of our regulars, Brian, arrives with his snake now and again.

Finally: we hear you’re up for sale? 
Yes, it’s true. We’ve not signed anything yet but loads of people have been in. Some are wanting to do more food. We’ll have to see. But whatever happens, we’ll still stay living in the area.

Find the Lord Southampton at 2 Southampton Road NW5. Next week: we meet Ben McDonald from The Junction Tavern.

 

 

“learned scribes” – Marx to Kugelman 1868

Marx writes to his publisher-friend to explain, clearly, why it is a critique of political economy:

And then the vulgar economist thinks a great discovery has been made when, as against the revelation of the inner interconnection of value and things, the proud claim is that in appearance things look different. In fact, the boast claims to hold fast to appearance, and takes it for the ultimate. Why, then, have any science at all?

But the matter has also another background. Once the interconnection is grasped, all theoretical belief in the permanent necessity of existing conditions collapses before their collapse in practice. Here, therefore, it is absolutely in the interest of the ruling classes to perpetuate a senseless confusion. And for what other purpose are the sycophantic babblers paid, who have no other scientific trump to play save that in political economy one should not think at all?

But satis superque [there you go, and then some]. In any case it shows what these priests of the bourgeoisie have come down to, when workers and even manufacturers and merchants understand my book [Capital] and find their way about in it, while these “learned scribes” (!) complain that I make excessive demands on their understanding….

From 11 July 1868 letter of Marx to Kugelman. Marx and Engels, Selected Correspondence, Moscow, 1955, pp. 250-53. The bold and the italics (except the Latin) are mine, to highlight the choice slurs, and the consequences.

Edit: Lenin says of this: ‘ It is only to be hoped that every one who begins to study Marx and read Capital will read and re-read this letter when studying the first and most difficult chapters of that book’ (Lenin: Published in 1907 in the pamphlet: Karl Marx. Letters to Dr. Kugelmann, edited and with a preface by N. Lenin. Novaya Duma Publishers, St. Petersburg. Published according to the text of the pamphlet.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1962, Moscow, Volume 12, pages 104-112. https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1907/feb/05.htm#bkV12E034)

what do you call that reorder edit – on a crooked line of Marx

Screenshot 2018-12-17 at 13.30.47

                               Transpose

Marxownp431867.png
In Marx’s own copy of the 1867 edition of Capital, we can see he changes a few things. I wonder when.
There are more changes in the copy of the first page of another of his editions, but in this one there are reasons to speculate and maybe go far too far down the rabbit hole of hermeneutics. So, facing up to the Cheshire Cat, I want to ask if anyone else finds it interesting that on page 43, for example, Marx underlines/circles/corrects the word order in the sentence:
Nur als Erscheinungsform ihres eignen Werths interesierte die Steifelwaare der Steifelknecht.
I’m not at all sure about Steifelwaare, but maybe this can translate as:​ Only the appearance form of its value is interesting in the boot to the boot maker. (Ie, its value as something the bootmaker can sell).
In his correction, Marx wants to smooth the expression out so as to reverse the order of die Steifelwaare and der Steifelknecht. So Der Steifelknecht die Steifelwaare (probably den). This can then be: ‘Only the appearance form of its value is interesting for the maker of the boot’ (my trans – not sure).
Does it matter? It seems the sentence was completely removed from the next revision (most people read the 4th Edition, or translations based upon it – but Marx revised in 1872 for the french serialisation, so unless all the changes from the hand annotated editions can be collated and dated…) so I suspect it matters not that very much. Nevertheless, if clarity of expression was key, this may be because speaking voice is crucial in the very next sentence, which was not removed – the very famous:
Konnten die Waren also sprechern, so werden sie sagen, unser Gerbrauchwerthe mag den menschen interesieren. Er kommt uns nicht als Dingen zu. Was uns aber dinglich zukömmt, ist unserer Werth. Unser eigner verkehr als Warenendinge beweist das.
If commodities could speak, what would they say: our value as commodities interests men. This come to us not as things. But what comes to us is our value. Our traffic as commodities shows that. (my trans)
The idea that commodities might speak at all is fetishism, the filthy little gossips. So we want to know what they would say, and to whom – since it implies a listener. Is it the owner or the maker or the buyer they chat with? And why do they speak in the voice of a 19th century political economist? They speak like that for the rest of the paragraph, though there is also a little reverse ventriloquy from Dogberry, who thinks it natural to write.

Worker or Labour

Note for later… on the difference between worker and labour. Is it not obvious there are questions to ask here about demarcation – is a worker everyone under capital? Are there worker hierarchies that are more than strategies of containment/control – setting x worker up against y, a buy-off of the worker elite, dumping of disposable workers, erasure of all other possible modes of being subject to the bullshit of work that is neither fulfilling or worthwhile (to who?), alienated work v. work you would do no matter what

In Marx: the concept of worker and labour power shift analytically across the book of Capital. Under capitalist relations the workers sell their labour power (capacity to labour, more productive than the cost of reproducing it) but not all labourers are so lucky (misfortune) to be able to sell their labour power. The unemployed, partially employed, the drifters and vagabonds, the mothers and children in training, the elderly are also all responsible to maintain their capacity to work, their labour power, even when not in employment as workers. Marx uses simple reproduction in his examples in the earlier chapters of capital, but if you read just the introduction of chapter 16 (Ch14 n Tieng Viet I think, the start of Vol thu Nhât, Phân 1) you see him explain about the narrow and the wide notion of the productive labourer, and also introduce the concept of the collective worker. The worker in the narrow sense produced surplus value, indeed value in general, the collective worker would include those that do not produce surplus value, but help other people produce it – for example as a teacher, when I am not producing a profit for the university boss, I add to the capacity of the students to produce surplus value, I do not produce that value myself except as part of the collective labourer. Again, it’s very important that Marx not be read without a dialectical conception of all of his categories, including worker – we actually discussed just this in relation to the early parts of Hegel that we read together.

Yet again to re-read the start of Chapter 16 (TV 14) – the difference between a sausage factory and a university is negligible. Hilarious and fun Karl.

‘Citizen Marx/Kane’ in “Marx at the Movies”, 2014

Citizen Marx/Kane’ – Hutnyk

This chapter addresses the question of how, today, to start reading that rich book that is Marx’s Capital — of which an immense, even monstrous, accumulation of commentary on the Marxist mode of literary production appears to have already shaped its elementary forms. In reading Capital, if anything about beginnings should be considered necessary, it is usual to say it is good to start at the beginning — not always of course, but usually to start with what is immediately at hand. Commentaries, primers, prefaces, intros, first sentences and first chapters start at the beginning and continue on from there. This is itself debated, but my argument is that we can only approach Capital through the already existing commentary, even as we would like to start as if the book were new. And the commentary that exists is not only that which is explicitly marked as such, but also includes all the ideas we have already received about so many things — about Marx, capitalism, communism, exchange, commodities and so much more. A vast accumulation of things filter reading, so it would be naive to simply say that materialism might start with things themselves, even if it makes sense to start with commodities, the objects that are the souvenirs or detritus of our lives.

Keywords

Capitalist Class Capitalist Mode Moral Testimony Commodity System Film Poster 

Screenshot 2018-12-09 at 11.35.23

Multitude redux Empire: wrong way, don’t go back, we should leave too.

People got wishful thinking a lot, and I am always for breaking the borders, but as this can be read from afar, I reckon yes, but the prognosis offered below by Hardt and Negri back in the Empire day ends up objectively anti-communist – the wrong side is lauded as abandoning the discipline of the system. What if rather, all the exploited under capitalism had pushed at the wall the other way, the former soviet block might not be a pit of cowboy corruption and proto-fascist gangsterism, but rather a renewal – walls can fall both ways, and maybe H&N were pushing the wrong way. I don’t mean everyone should now move to Mexico, but abandoning the shopping centre queues in favour of a Leninist discipline supporting an organised alternative to empty glitz is a long term better solution for all rather than this multitude exodus which does tend to me to sound a bit like Pol Pot’s year zero as well.

“A specter haunts the world and it is the specter of migration. All the powers of the old world are allied in a merciless operation against it, but the movement is irresistible. Along with the flight from the so-called Third World there are flows of political refugees and transfers of intellectual labor power, in addition to the massive movements of the agricultural, manufacturing, and service proletariat. The legal and documented movements are dwarfed by clandestine migrations: the borders of national sovereignty are sieves, and every attempt at complete regulation runs up against violent pressure. Economists attempt to explain this phenomenon by presenting their equations and models, which even if they were complete would not explain that irrepressible desire for free movement. In effect, what pushes from behind is, negatively, desertion from the miserable cultural and material conditions of imperial reproduction; but positively, what pulls forward is the wealth of desire and the accumulation of expressive and productive capacities that the processes of globalization have determined in the consciousness of every individual and social group—and thus a certain hope. Desertion and exodus are a powerful form of class struggle within and against imperial postmodernity. This mobility, however, still constitutes a spontaneous level of struggle, and, as we noted earlier, it most often leads today to a new rootless condition of poverty and misery. A new nomad horde, a new race of barbarians, will arise to invade or evacuate Empire. Nietzsche was oddly prescient of their destiny in the nineteenth century. ‘‘Problem: where are the barbarians of the twentieth century? Obviously they will come into view and consolidate themselves only after tremendous socialist crises.’’ We cannot say exactly what Nietzsche foresaw in his lucid delirium, but indeed what recent event could be a stronger example of the power of desertion and exodus, the power of the nomad horde, than the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the entire Soviet bloc? In the desertion from ‘‘socialist discipline,’’ savage mobility and mass migration contributed substantially to the collapse of the system. In fact, the desertion of productive cadres disorganized and struck at the heart of the disciplinary system of the bureaucratic Soviet world. The mass exodus of highly trained workers from Eastern Europe played a central role in provoking the collapse of the Wall. Even though it refers to the particularities of the socialist state system, this example demonstrates that the mobility of the labor force can indeed express an open political conflict and contribute to the destruction of the regime. What we need, however, is more. We need a force capable of not only organizing the destructive capacities of the multitude, but also constituting through the desires of the multitude an alternative. The counter-Empire must also be a new global vision, a new way of living in the world… If in a first moment the multitude demands that each state recognize juridically the migrations that are necessary to capital, in a second moment it must demand control over the movements themselves. The multitude must be able to decide if, when, and where it moves. It must have the right also to stay still and enjoy one place rather than being forced constantly to be on the move. The general right to control its own movement is the multitude’s ultimate demand for global citizenship. This demand is radical insofar as it challenges the fundamental apparatus of imperial control over the production and life of the multitude. Global citizenship is the multitude’s power to reappropriate control over space and thus to design the new cartography.”

Thanks J Adams for the reminder of this bit of Empire

My longe essay critiquing Empire is here

Innovations… Conference 4-5 October 2019, TDTU, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

http://issh2019.tdtu.edu.vn/

Innovations in the Social Sciences and Humanities

4th and 5th of October 2019.
Ho Chi Minh City, Socialist republic of Vietnam

Welcome to the website for the conference Innovations in the Social Sciences and Humanities, jointly organised by The University of Trieste, Italy; the Universität Leipzig, Germany; National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan; University of Warwick, UK; College of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences (CHESS) at Purdue University Northwest (PNW), USA; and Ton Duc Thang University, Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

Conference Venue – Ton Duc Thang University

Address: 19 Nguyen Huu Tho Street, Tan Phong Ward, District 7, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Invitation and Call for papers:

For the International Conference 4-5 October 2019 at Ton Duc Thang University, HCMC, Vietnam, we would like to hear from those working on innovative approaches to public engagement in the social sciences and humanities. Methodological, empirical, archival or conceptual-theoretical work is encouraged, especially where a keen interest in application, consequence, practice or outcome is involved. Sometimes this is called impact on the one side, or intervention on the other, but we are nevertheless interested in all inquiries and investigations which advance the emancipatory possibilities of scholarship in a radically changed global context.

Social and cultural practices in both modern life and in the preservation of historical memory, could suitably connect sociology, social work, history, ethno-anthropology (museums, exhibitions, fairs, monuments, collective ceremonies), cultural tourism, eco-preservation policies, and other urgent contemporary social issues. Comparative studies are welcome, but not the only focus. We are especially interested in deep and detailed studies which have wider significance and suggestions for ‘best practice’. After many years of ‘interdisciplinarity’, or at least talk about this, we are interested to see examples where this works well in practice. We can assume all studies are comparative and interdisciplinary in a way, and all certainly have consequences, implications…

We are especially keen to hear from those working in three overlapping areas of engaged activity: these may be people working as anthropologists, historians, museum and preservation/heritage studies; cultural geographers, sociologists and in cultural studies; or on border studies, migrant labor and workplace and institutional inquiries. Our themes will interact within the structure of the conference, but we are keen in particular to go deeply into each area.

With Innovations in Public Engagement we anticipate discussions of the ways scholarship might best go about communicating in public the experience of the past and of human, cultural and environmental diversity, including technological and bio-political innovations and their contemporary reshaping of pasts and presents. Challenges to questions of who produces scholarship and why, for whom and by whom, can apply to past and present uses of knowledge, where the models of research and inquiry are actively reworked in the face of new public demands.

With Historical/contemporary practices and policies we seek to address issues related to contemporary forms of social conflict, including unequal citizenship and new racisms, the rise of right-wing populist movements and infiltration of religious power in secular governmentality, migrant workers as neoliberal slavery, questions of human trafficking and refugees, developmentalism and environmental pollution, crony capitalism and geo-economic zoning politics.

With Innovations of methodology, training and new skills for the future it seems to us crucial that our work respond to rapid reconfigurations of the very possibility and consequences of engaged social sciences and humanities scholarship. Whether the changing context is imposed by governments by industry or by civil society, when we deal with institutional change and competitive and imperative demands, we do need to develop new tools for knowledge(s) and new sensibilities/sensitivities. Education, reform and responsiveness, new skills and objectives, new modes of investigation and teaching in general. An urgent and targeted focus on how scholarship might remain relevant and critical in the face of global trends – funding cuts, social constraints, new demands, new conservatism, and crises of certitude.

The Socialist Republic of Vietnam will be our venue, but it need not necessarily be the context or focus of all papers, nor are comparative, or East-West or ‘post’ or neo-colonial framings always to be foregrounded in the papers. We are interested however in papers that encourage us to think anew about the implications of where we are and about how to re-orient humanities and social sciences scholarship in contexts where rising tensions in East Asia, Southeast Asia and South Asia call on us to innovate and apply once more.

On acceptance of your paper, we will provide you a letter of acceptance or an invitation letter for your visa application to Vietnam or financial sponsorship from your institution. Therefore, you are encouraged to submit your paper at the earliest time possible.

Language:

The conference proceedings and papers will be in English.

Important dates:

  • Abstract Submission: By February 28th, 2019
  • Notification of Paper Acceptance: Before March 30th, 2019
  • Full Paper Submission: By May 30th, 2019
  • Registration and Payment by: August 20th, 2019 (early bird discounts apply)
  • Conference Dates: October 4th– 5th, 2019

We look forward to receiving your contributions and kindly ask you to disseminate the call to your colleagues who may be interested in participating the conference.
Please do not hesitate to contact us at issh2019@tdtu.edu.vn if you need any further information.

________

Assoc. Prof. Le Thi Mai, Ph.D
Head of  Sociology Department

 

Screenshot 2018-11-26 at 16.03.23http://issh2019.tdtu.edu.vn/

Protests in Vietnam (guest post)

Guest Post by Sally Mju

About the current protest in Vietnam. I support and I do not support!

This article is analyzed from the perspective of Karl Marx and Rosa Luxemburg.

The “99 years” rally is taking place all across Vietnam. It is a protest in the immediate sense against the lack of consultation in the legislative proposal to rezone land and provide open leases for companies that relocate to new Special Economic Zones. There have been three short strike actions and larger protests, sometimes violent, in several cities. As part of the context we must acknowledge the protests and strikes entail a rise in nationalism, which perhaps is provoked by opportunists who would challenge the authoritarian state. This raises issues of positive and negative importance for the country.

After considering the situation, visiting the strikes, and reviewing a series of articles, I identify and question the single and most serious aspect of the problem: Why did the state move forward plans to lease land through the 99-year special zone without consulting the people?

This “99-year” event has prompted uproar and indignation across the country in large part because it involves China. From every layer of the society people who had knowledge about the legislation raised criticisms: lawyers, doctors, farmers and workers protested against the government. But the criticisms were amplified not only because the Vietnamese people would want to have a say in decisions about how they live, but also because opportunists were able to access a long-standing hatred of China and the criticisms had suggested that benefits to Chinese businesses are at the expense of the people.

“1000 years of Chinese invasion, 100 years of the French”

Nationalism has long existed in parallel with the development of the country.

Nationalism is often utlilised within the government to support economic and political expansion in its various enterprises. But there is also the form of nationalism arising among the oppressed class in the face of authoritarian tendencies that prevail within the ruling party state.

Rosa Luxemburg argues for the analysis and development of Marxism including criticism of all forms of nationalism. Rosa’s arrival in the Marxist revolution supported the class struggle of peoples oppressed by the bourgeoisie all over the world. Rosa’s principle is “workers of the world unite!”. According to Rosa, nationalism is a form of bourgeois thought that must be opposed by proletarian ideology and socialist aims. Almost all forms of nationalism have developed and are deeply rooted in the proletariat in cases that span the whole world. In some instances, this involves ‘patriotism’. Some opportunist socialists opposed her revolutionary standpoint and Lenin developed his views on nationalism quite differently, distinguishing between nationalism among the oppressor nations which should be opposed by the revolutionaries and the nationalism of the oppressed nations, that revolutionaries should support. Lenin argued that revolutionary nationalism was needed to counteract imperialism and oppose the rule of the empires of the world.

Lenin’s view easily led to one-sided bias toward the right and this cannot be reconciled with the current class struggle in Vietnam as Vietnam is no longer oppressed under colonialism, notwithstanding that it is now under an authoritarian state that contracts with the capitalist system. Whether all things should be attributed to class struggle on a national level is a wider question for discussion elsewhere.

But what is the purpose of the current protests? Their purpose as I see it at first was one that I am very supportive of, especially in the way they bravely stand against the government’s lack of transparency. However, opportunists fostering patriotism and nationalism intervened and the protesters had not yet reached a level that could connect with the workers organised against the bourgeoisie, thus to that extent it remained an independent action by the peasantry to retain control of their land and we can surely understand. We would expect that in any case where peasant lands were sold to a wealthy official in Hanoi, without any compensation to the peasants using that land, then the same sort of protest would arise. But because of the nationalist antipathy against China in Vietnam, something that probably unites almost all Vietnamese, national feeling becomes an element of the case here. Those who fight the sale of land will “use” this element to inflame passions and gain support. This nationalist tendency should be opposed, even as the underlying action and its aims I would support. Looking in two directions at once is a very difficult policy to operate.

The opportunists saw a flicker of anger and they thought they could steer the people to where they wanted. They crept to the front and provoked the government. From the moment the opportunists entered, the protest was no longer a protest but a commandeered attack vehicle for those who want to destabilise the present government. If this was the purpose of the protest, it would not change the substantive original cause, but lead only to sabotage and a dysfunctionality that will slowly subside. An objective phenomenon, without actual support in the class, it will fade without resolution like the 2014 Binh Duong strike in South Vietnam’s industrial parks.

To disentangle these issues we need to distinguish between three categories: demonstrations, sabotage and marches.

A march is a kind of celebration of something that is beneficial to oneself or to society, like that in 2015 with the LGBT parade in the pedestrian street of District 1, Ho Chi Minh City;

Protest strikes and demonstrations are the action of a group of people supporting a political or economic cause;

Sabotage is militant action, used especially for escalating political advantage, and it can be either armed interference aimed at overthrow of the government or part of a development of the widening struggle of the revolutionary class that Rosa Luxemburg calls the Mass Strike.

Right now, surprisingly with no attention from the wider press and public in Vietnam, including the opportunists, there are 300 workers in Nghe An on strike over a two-hour extension of their hours with no wage increase. While there may be less people involved, the issues a more clear-cut, their base is sound, and they have a cause.

Would this small economic demand escalate into nationalism or generalise into a political struggle based upon nation or class? The opportunists do not move into this strike, they do not see it as a place for sabotage that would access the national and patriotic elements they manipulate. Yet it is this kind of economic struggle that holds promise for a better Vietnam, even though it is not escalated into a political stage and is not, yet, directed to the Mass Strike strategy.

Only on the basis of the economic struggle of the working class would be possible to widen the struggle, build the Mass Strike and establish a new government, a new institution, or anything else, because that would by necessity have to build on the strength of the truly revolutionary class. Anti-government opportunism, and every country has such examples, rarely is revolutionary where the upper class people of the country also go in for sabotage, such as the United States with President Donald Trump for example. But without the revolutionary workers these opportunist actions only introduce chaos, it does not change anything substantial. Looking to France, workers ‘protests at the Amazon plant have boosted wages and added workers’ welfare, albeit to a modest extent, with little change in their living conditions, but on their own strength.

Luxemburg argued that previous analyses of the Mass Strike had tended to separate economic and political struggles and in 1905, she said, the strike could initially start with what appear to be small economic demands but could rapidly generalise to become and challenge on a broader political level. This would only happen if led by the mass working class, it cannot happen if led by the opportunists because they have no actual political demand beyond opportunist sabotage. Sabotage here is not a political struggle that can feed back into weaker sections of the working class who would in turn strike over their economic grievance. Opportunist sabotage has no mass base and so will fade away.

The low profile of the left in Vietnam means the right-wing cause of economic inequality has become a pressing nationalist problem. The SEZ Special Economic Zones are no advantage for the nation because with less regulation and constraints upon capital, they often cause more worker exploitation. No workers movement can support them. They certainly attract capitalists from all over, not just China, but the jobs they bring are compromised and the workers have identified this drawback. At the present time, nationalists and opportunists have tried to take this moment and turn it into a protest against China and in effect bring the country back to a time when Vietnam was subject to colonial exploitation at the hands of the imperialists.

Vietnam has no left-wing opposition to offer other economic development policies.

The key to solving this problem is not the issue of nationalism but the problem of class struggle. Think about the needs of the movement, if the working classes of all nationalities around the world oppose the bourgeoisie?

Sally Mju.

Marx’s Library

From Old Beardo’s library (as listed in the MEGA), the following books related to India or the East India Company have underlining or marginalia by Marx, in blue or red pen:

Alexander, R[ichard]: The rise and progress of British opium smuggling:

the illegality of the East India Company’s monopoly of the drug; and its injurious effects upon India, China, and the commerce of Great Britain. Five letters addressed to the Right Honourable the Earl of Shaftesbury. 3. ed. rev. and enl. London: Judd and Glass, Soc. for „Suppressing Opium Smuggling” 1856. 80 S. Standort des Orig.: SAPMO/Bibl., Ma 916. Bibl.-Stempel: SPD-Bibl., 41647 (Kat. 1901, S. 46). – Zentralsekretariat der SED/Bibl. – IMLB/Bibl.

Marginalien von Marx (Tinte) S. 37, 38.

Korrektur von fremder Hand.

Bibliothek Marx.

.

 

[Crosthwaite, Charles Haukes Todd:] Notes on the north-western 261 provinces of India. By a district officer. London: Allen 1869. 160, 23 S. Standort des Orig.: RGA, f. 1, op. 1, d. 6355. Bibl.-Stempel: SPD-Bibl., 41556 (Kat. 1901, S. 257), Etikett: 705. – IMLB/Bibl. – IMLM/ZPA. Buchhändleretikett: Subscription Library, London.

Marginalien von Marx (Blaustift) S. 2-70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76-91, 92, 93, 94,

95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100-107, 129-132, 133-135, 136-150, 152, 153-156,

157-159; (Grünstift) S. 129.

Einige Seiten mit Eselsohr.

Bibliothek Marx.

.

 

East Indian Tariff. The debate on the motion of Hugh Birley, Esq., 349 M . P . , respecting import duties on cotton manufactures. Delivered in the House of Commons, Tuesday, July 10, 1877. Extracted from „Hansard’s Parliamentary Debates”, vol. 235. London: Buck 1877. 24 S.

Standort des Orig.: RGA, f. 1, op. 1, d. 6454.

Bibl.-Stempel: SPD-Bibl., 41196 (Kat. 1901, S. 47). – Zentralsekretariat der

SED/Bibl. – IMLB/Bibl. – IMLM/ZPA.

Marginalien von Marx (Bleistift) S. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7; (Rotstift) S. 8-24.

Textverlust durch Buchbinderschnitt.

Bibliothek Marx.

.

 

Grant, Robert: A sketch of the history of the East-India Company, from its first formation to the passing of the Regulating Act of 1773; with a summary view of the changes which have taken place since that period in the internal administration of British India. London: Black, Parry, Hatchard 1813. 13, L I I I , 397 S. Standort des Orig.: RGA, f. 1, op. 1, d. 6502. Bibl.-Stempel: SPD-Bibl., 41311 (Kat. 1901, S. 255). – IMLB/Bibl. – IMLM/ZPA.

Marginalien von Marx (Blaustift) S. 80, 81; (Rotstift) S. 356, 357, 358, 360-363.

Bibliothek Marx.

.

 

Irwin, H[enry] Qrossby]: The garden of India; or chapters on Oudh 610 history and affairs. London: Allen 1880. 350, 36 S. Standort des Orig.: RGA, f. 1, op. 1, d. 6503. Bibl.-Stempel: SPD-Bibl., 41403 (Kat. 1901, S. 256), Etikett: 694. – IMLB/Bibl. – IMLM/ZPA. Widmung: Verfasser an ungenannten Adressaten (Schmutztitel).

Marginalien von Marx (Blau- und Grünstift) S. 16-18, 20-26, 27, 28-39, 40,

41-57, 60, 61, 62-79, 80, 81-84, 86, 87, 88-90, 91-94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99,

100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111-113, 114, 115,

116, 117, 118, 119, 120-127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 132, 133, 134, 135, 136,

137-139, 140, 141, 142-144, 145-155, 156, 157-160, 161, 162-167,

168-170, 171, 172, 173, 174-182, 183, 184-187, 188, 189, 191, 192, 193,

194-198, 199, 200, 201-204, 205, 206, 207, 208, 209-212, 213, 214, 215,

216-218, 219, 220, 221, 222-230, 231, 232, 233, 234, 235-238, 239, 240,

241, 242, 243-246, 247, 248, 249-261, 262-265, 266, 267, 268, 269-276,

277, 278-280, 281, 282-284, 285, 286, 287, 288, 289, 290, 291, 292, 293,

294, 295, 296, 297-302, 303, 304, 305, 306-309, 310, 311, 312, 313, 314,

315, 316, 318, 319, 320, 321-339, 340, 341, 342, 344, 345-348, 349, 350;

Annoncenteil: S. [1], [2], 7, 11, 12, 14, 15, 23, 26-29, 36, [40].

Einige Seiten mit Eselsohr.

Bibliothek Marx.

.

 

M[a]cCuUoch, J[ohn| R[amsay|: A dictionary, practical, theoretical, 815 and historical, of commerce and commercial navigation. Illustrated with maps and plans. A new ed., corr., enl. and improved. With a suppl. London: Longman, Brown, Green and Longmans 1852. XXIII, 1510, 32 S. Standort des Orig.: SAPMO/Bibl., 54/13140. Bibl.-Stempel: SPD-Bibl, 41345 (Kat. 1901, S. 45). – Zentralsekretariat der SED/Bibl. – IMLB/Bibl. Buchbinderetikett: Westley & Co London.

Wahrscheinlich Bibliothek Marx bzw. Engels.

Titel exzerpiert: Marx, 1852 (IISG, Marx-Engels-Nachlaß, В 52); 1853 (IISG,

Marx-Engels-Nachlaß, В 63).

.

 

Titel erwähnt: Marx: Revolution in China and in Europe (MEGAÇ 1/12, S. 149). – T h e East India Company—Its History and Results (MEGAÇ 1/12, S. 186-188, 190, 191). – Grundrisse der Kritik der politischen Ökonomie (MEGAÇ 11/1.2,707, 708). – Zur Kritik der politischen Ökonomie (Manuskript 1861-1863) (MEGAÇ И/ЗА, S. 1353; 3.5, S. 1763). – Ökonomische Manuskripte 1861-1865 (MEGAÇ II/4.2, S. 473). – Das Kapital. Erster Band (MEGAÇ 11/10,

  1. 138). – Le Capital (MEGAÇ II/7, S. 121, 230). – Capital (MEGAÇ Π/9,
  2. 130). – Κ. und

 

.

Sewell, Robert: The analytical history of India, from the earliest times to the abolition of the honourable East India Company in London: Allen 1870. XXVIII, 334 S. mit Tab. Standort des Orig.: RGA, f. 1, op. 1, d. 6498. Bibl.-Stempel: SPD-Bibl., 41734 (Kat. 1901, S. 271), Etikett: 693. – IMLB/Bibl. – IMLM/ZPA.

Marginalien von Marx (Rot-, Blaustift und Tinte) S. 3-7, 37, 38, 43, 45-47,

49-52, 53, 54-57, 60, 61, 66, 68, 69, 70, 71, 77-80, 85, 86, 88, 92, 94, 95, 96,

97, 98, 99-105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116-119,

120, 121-126, 128, 129, 130, 131, 132-138, 139, 140-149, 150, 151, 152,

153-155, 156, 157-162, 163, 164-172, 173, 174-176, 177, 178, 179, 180,

181, 182-203, 204, 205, 206, 207, 208, 209, 210-213, 215, 216, 217-223,

224, 225-227, 228, 229-233, 234-237, 238, 239, 240, 241-248, 249, 250,

251, 252-255, 256, 257-280, 281, [284]-[312], 314-316, 318-322, 325-327,

330-333.

Einige Seiten mit Eselsohr.

Bibliothek Marx.

Titel exzerpiert: Marx, 1879/1880 (IISG, Marx-Engels-Nachlaß, В 156).

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Seymour, Henry: Waste lands of India. Speech in the House of Commons on the 12th May, 1863. With introd. and app. London: Ridgway 1864 XIII, 102 S. Standort des Orig.: RGA, f. 1, op. 1, d. 6297.

Bibl.-Stempel: SPD-Bibl., 41997 (Kat. 1901, S. 257). – IMLB/Bibl. – IMLM/ZPA.

Marginalien von Marx (Bleistift) Titelbl., S. II-XIII, 9-29, 31-33, 49-52, 53, 54,

55-62, 63, 64-70, 75-84, 87-97, 99; (Rotstift) S. 33-49.

Bibliothek Marx.

 

 

Destruction of weavers

Their bones will, Marx says, end up bleached on the plains of Bihar. Here Ranajit Guha in 1956 examines how colonial policy and corporation demands destroy livelihoods and skills fore generations to come. Some of the language may seem dated or unfamiliar I guess… but:

‘The Regulation on weavers,

framed by the Board of Trade in 1786, went further than this. But here also the proposed measure of improvement was administered strictly according to the commercial requirements of the Company. The Regulation provided for a number of legal safeguards favourable to the Companys weavers, but these represented no more than what was barely needed to ensure the regular and timely execution of contracts for investment. While the parochial labour of the textile producers of Bengal, thanks to the Company’s transactions, was being converted into an element of world economy, nothing was done to introduce a corresponding measure of improvement either in the technique or in the relations of production. The demands of a higher economic order were thus superimposed on a backward industrial organization without preparing the latter in any sense for such a function. There was nothing either in the nature of the East India Company or in Bengali society at the time which could satisfy the historical requirements of the situation. The result was that the Company, failing as it did to effect the release of the productive forces of native industry from feudal fetters, adopted the more facile solution of quarantine by isolating a part of the productive system from its original habitat and straitjiacketing it by the artificial organization of the English

factories. Thus, even before the indigenous industry of Bcngal had begun to wilt under the blasts that blew from Manchester in the first half of the nineteenth century, it was undermined at its very base due to the utter incompatibility between its mode of production and the nature of the market it was intended to serve’ (Guha 2009: 81-2).

From: The Small Voice of History: Collected Essays. Ranikhet can’t.: Permanent Black.

Marx on India in 1857

Marx writes to document the outrages committed by the British in retaliation for the uprising in 1857:

“The Punjaub is declared to be quiet, but at the same time we are informed that ‘at Ferozepore, on the 13th of June, military executions had taken place’ while Vaughan’s corps – 5th

Punjaub Infantry – is praised for ‘having behaved admirably in pursuit of the

55th Native Infantry’. This, it must be confessed, is very queer sort of ‘quiet’”

(New York Daily Tribune August 14,1857. Correspondence London, July 31,1857)

Isn’t this sort of reading of British troop action as an archival trace of something more significant that ‘provoked’ the reactions of the British exactly the sort of reading strategy that the founding Subaltern Studies scholars like Ranajit Guha suggested as critical historical method?

De-centrifuedalised or tropicalization: Marx outside the Euro-American Circuits

So, a bit bemused at the appearance of various Marx readers or ‘companions’ filled with US and UK based scholars, mostly, I thought it worth pointing to a few other irruptions of old beardo in the world.

Saurav Kumar offers this short read about misreading Marx, the horror of Modi, and experiments between communists and Ambedkarites:  https://www.youthkiawaaz.com/2018/05/marx-resonates-after-200-years/

While experiments in truth are the topic, this piece in The Hindu by Ramin Jahanbegloo, the Director of the Mahatma Gandhi Centre for Peace at Jindal Uni, is both trying to retrieve Marx from a bad rep and ‘nonsense’ accusations, and making some strange associations of his own about our ‘Socratic Gadfly’ walking to the British Museum every day but, allegedly, preferring dry tomes of philosophy than talking to the British masses!! Also cites Raymond Aron! Still: http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/karl-marx-200-years-later/article23776934.ece

Famed scholar Armatya Sen manages to promote Satyajit Ray’s film, Agantuk in this piece. Also funny on Hamlet, the Nobel Laureate references Hobsbawn and 1955 Labour Party stuff (the days of Rajani Palme-Dutt in the CPGB should have got in here to – debates with). Sen is not yet embalmed: http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/karl-marx-philosophy-200th-birth-anniversary-5163799/

As a contrast, one could ‘sharpen and deepen’ one’s understanding according to last years (199) version of this sort of thing (what is this sort of thing?) from the CPI(M): http://www.cpim.org/views/marx-today%E2%80%99s-world

OK, CMP stuff comes in various forms, but there is life in the old dog yet. Comrade Vijay Prashad, much respected, imagined Marx reading the blue books (I want to link to my forthcoming on the Blue Books, but its not out yet). LeftWord is one of the best new(ish) publishers in India so check out the blog and sales list too : http://blog.leftword.com/marx-turns-200/

The comrades of CPI M-L are serious about scholarship as well – this piece by Amitabha Chakrabarti at the 200 bicentenary commemoration is worth a read for its discussion of ground rent, agriculture and modes of production debates,though repeats a slight distortion in saying that in ‘last decade of his study Marx wrote about 30000 pages on Russian agriculture’ – Kevin Anderson is on the case, 30k notes in the last decade sure, but not all on agriculture. Yet, this is a healthy change of perspective from the Euro-Am usual fodder: http://cpimlnd.org/a-study-note-on-transition-of-agriculture-marxist-problematic-after-publication-of-capital-1867/

And just as a taster, meanwhile in Vietnam (and I do want to do a roundup for several other non-centrifuegalisms), this piece describes a presentation in Ha Noi by Nguyễn Xuân Thắng, Secretary of the Communist Party of Việt Nam Central Committee, Chairman of the Central Theoretical Council and Director of the Hồ Chí Minh National Political Academy. The text gives a bit of a flavour of how things can look quite different when you are winning. All students study Mac-Len Nin, relevant to the country and the world: http://vietnamnews.vn/politics-laws/427407/marxism-bears-eternal-value-for-world-and-the-vietnamese-revolution.html#lOuJOpWeBRpLvlF3.97

 

Lal Salaam.

Marx’s 200th birth anniversary is in a week. what’s planned? [please add what’s on in your city]

marx cakeThe next few pages are a quick round up of what’s on for Old Beardo’s 200th. Add more in the comments please.

Many of these are linking to Facebook, sorry, but the ungated web is gone…

[The cake in the image to the side was made by my Capital reading group/class circa 2005].

Celebrating 200 Years of Karl Marx

Karl Marx, in full Karl Heinrich Marx (born May 5, 1818, Trier and died March 14, 1883, London, England) was a philosopher, revolutionary, sociologist, historian, and economist. Marx and Freud have influenced life and literature in the twentieth century more deeply and extensively than the earlier great thinkers and scientists like Copernicus and Darwin influenced the life and literature in their own respective eras.. He published The Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital, anticapitalist works that form the basis of Marxism. It was Capital’s 150th anniversary in autumn 2017, the 170th anniversary of the Communist Manifesto will be in February 2018, and it would have been Karl Marx’s 200th birthday in May 2018. The Communist Party of the Philippines calls on all Filipino workers to start a year-long commemoration and celebration of Marx’s 200th birthday on May 5, 2018. The whole revolutionary movement must salute Karl Marx’ and Marxism’s great role in history and in the continuing world struggle for the emancipation of the proletariat and the entire humanity. This celebration is of great relevance to the working class, from politics to philosophy to academics as Karl Marx made a lasting imprint on the face of history. The Centre for Positive Philosophy and Interdisciplinary Studies (CPPIS) has also an intention to commemorate the 200 years of Karl Marx by various activities including essay competition, seminar, special issues and books on this great thinker.

 

National Level Essay Writing Competition on “The Philosophy of Karl Marx”

Centre for Positive Philosophy and Interdisciplinary Studies (CPPIS)

Pehowa (Kurukshetra)-136128 Haryana
http://positivephilosophy.webs.com or http://www.cppiskkr.com

Celebrating 200 Years of Karl Marx

National Level Essay Writing Competition on “The Philosophy of Karl Marx”

5th May, 2018

cropped-images

The Centre for Positive Philosophy and Interdisciplinary Studies (CPPIS) Pehowa (Kurukshetra) on the occasion of the World Philosophy Day-2017 and 200th Birth Anniversary of Karl Marx, going to organize a National Level Essay Writing Competition on “The Philosophy of Karl Marx”. The competition aims at giving an opportunity to the youth of country to come across the various aspects of the philosophy of Karl Marx and his contribution to the world of knowledge.

About Karl Marx:

”Karl Marx, in full Karl Heinrich Marx (born May 5, 1818, Trier and died March 14, 1883, London, England) was a philosopher, revolutionary, sociologist, historian, and economist. Marx and Freud have influenced life and literature in the twentieth century more deeply and extensively than the earlier great thinkers and scientists like Copernicus and Darwin influenced the life and literature in their own respective eras.. He published The Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital, anticapitalist works that form the basis of Marxism. It was Capital’s 150th anniversary in autumn 2017, the 170th anniversary of the Communist Manifesto will be in February 2018, and it would have been Karl Marx’s 200th birthday in May 2018. The Communist Party of the Philippines calls on all Filipino workers to start a year-long commemoration and celebration of Marx’s 200th birthday on May 5, 2018. The whole revolutionary movement must salute Karl Marx’ and Marxism’s great role in history and in the continuing world struggle for the emancipation of the proletariat and the entire humanity. This celebration is of great relevance to the working class, from politics to philosophy to academics as Karl Marx made a lasting imprint on the face of history. The Centre for Positive Philosophy and Interdisciplinary Studies (CPPIS) has also an intention to commemorate the 200 years of Karl Marx by various activities including essay competition, seminar, special issues and books on this great thinker”.

Eligibility: All students pursuing any Undergraduate or Post Graduate courses from recognized college/institute/university. Age limit is 25 years or below for this competition.

Prizes: Prizes will be given to top 5 entries and a certificate also provided to those who follow proper guidelines.

Submission Guidelines:

The essays submitted by the participants must be in ‘English and Hindi’ language only.

The essay must be typed in Microsoft Word with Times New Roman, Font size 12, 1.5 linear spacing.

Co-authorship is allowed.

Word Limit: 2000 Maximum words including footnotes.

The participants submitting an entry in this essay contest need to affirm that the entry is his/her own work. Plagiarism can lead to outright rejection of submission.

Criteria of Evaluation:

The criteria to be applied in evaluating the entries are:

• Originality of the content

• Creativity and Rationality

• Style and Presentation of content

• Clarity and proper citations

Registration and Submission:

There is no registration fee for this essay competition. Participants should submit their essay with 10th class certificate and institutional ID proof along with registration form till 31st March 2018 on the given address. An advance copy of all documents should be submitted before last date via email id cppiskkr@gmail.com

For any details, Contact:

Dr. Desh Raj Sirswal,

Department of Philosophy, P.G.Govt. College for Girls,

Sector-11, Chandigarh-160011. Mobile No.08288883993

Download details:

Essay Competition 2017-18

Registration Form Essay Cometition 2017-18

Celebration Page Link:
https://karlmarx200.wordpress.com

_______________________________________

Also:

https://rg.ru/2018/04/25/reg-szfo/v-peterburge-otkrylas-vystavka-k-200-letiiu-karla-marksa.html

_____________________________________

and in Brisbane:

Marx 200 Brisbane

https://www.facebook.com/events/440430439739049/

  • 12 May – 13 May
    12 May at 13:30 to 13 May at 17:00 UTC+10

    74B Wickham St, Fortitude Valley QLD 4006, Australia

May 2018 signals 200 years since the birth of German revolutionary theorist Karl Marx. Famous for his call to revolution in the Communist Manifesto and his thorough critique of the capitalist system in Capital, Marx’s ideas had a huge impact on the political, social and cultural landscape of the 19th and 20th centuries.

But are Marx’s ideas relevant today in the era of the internet, automation, and climate change? Is clinging to Marx a sign of dogmatism or fetishisation of outdated ideas of social change?

We don’t think so – in an age where we are told that capitalism’s global dominance is virtually complete, yet seems increasingly incapable of offering a future for all of us, Marx has a lot to offer those who want to change the world today. This weekend of seminars, discussion sessions and forums will provide an introduction to Marx’s ideas, how they were conceived in his own time and what relevance they have for today’s burning political questions.

Instead of a rigid dogma, Marx’s ideas can be seen as a set of important tools for understanding our society, in its political, economic, ecological and cultural dimensions. These tools can then help us shape how we think about strategies for changing this society towards a vision of equality and freedom.

***Stay tuned for details on program and speakers***

This is a free event – though we’ll pass around a donations bucket at the event to help cover some basic costs.

DRAFT PROGRAM (a full program with speakers and session descriptions will be posted soon):

Saturday 12 May
1:30pm Opening Panel: Marx After the End of History

3:15pm Parallel Session 1:
– How Capitalism Works
– Marx and the Environment

5:00pm Parallel Session 2:
– Understanding Capitalist Crisis
– Colonialism, Imperialism, Marxism

6:30pm Marx’s 200th B’Day Bash (+ film screening)

Sunday 13 May
11:00am Parallel Session 3:
– Social Class, Class Identity, Class Struggle
– The Philosophy of Marx and Engels

12:45pm Lunch

1:30pm Parallel Session 4:
– The State, Elections, and Social Struggle
– Marx and Gender

3:30pm Closing Panel: Automate This: Marx and Labour in the 21st Century. Featuring:
– Humphrey McQueen, socialist historian and cultural commentator, author of ‘A New Britannia’, ‘The Essence of Capitalism’, amongst many other titles
– Alison Pennington, unionist and political economist
– Feargal McGovern, organiser with Anti-Poverty Network Queensland and unite
– Max Chandler-Mather, state strategist for the Queensland Greens

________________________

Marx 200 at marx Memorial Library London.

A major international conference celebrating Marx’s work and exploring the significance of Marxism in the world today

Organised by the Marx Memorial Library on the bicentenary of Marx’s birth

9.45 – 10.45
Plenary: Marx’s contribution to political economy and its relevance today – why Marx was right
Chair: Harsev Bains
Speakers:
Ben Fine, Professor of Economics, SOAS, University of London
Luo Wendong, Professor at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
Anne-Kathrin Krug, Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, Berlin

10.45 – 11.15 Coffee (refreshments not provided)

11.15 – 12.30 Parallel sessions
Marxism and the present as history
Chair: Vijay Prashad
Speakers:
John Foster, Emeritus Professor, Social Sciences, University of the West of Scotland
Isabel Monal, Editor of Marx Ahora, a Cuban theoretical journal

Neoliberalism, austerity and Marx
Chair: John Foster
Speakers:
Ben Fine, Professor of Economics, SOAS, University of London
Denise Christie, Scottish Secretary, Fire Brigades Union

Capitalism and new technology – has Marx been eclipsed?
Chair: Ann Field
Speakers:
Ursula Huws, Professor of Labour and Globalisation. Hertfordshire School of Business
Alan Blackwell, Professor of Interdisciplinary Design, Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge

Class, race and gender: Marxism, exploitation and oppression
Chair: Will Sullivan
Speakers:
Mary Davis, Visiting Professor of Labour History at Royal Holloway, University of London
Sarah Mosoetsa, Associate Professor of Sociology, at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, CEO National Institute for Humanities & Social Science

12.30 – 13.30 Lunch (not provided)

13.30 – 14.45
Plenary: Marx, philosophy and human development – Marxism and the battle of ideas
Chair: Alex Gordon
Speakers:
David McLellan, Visiting Professor of Political Theory, Goldsmiths, University of London
Isabel Monal, Editor of Marx Ahora, a Cuban theoretical journal
Li Xiaoxiao, Deputy Director of Marxism Department at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

14.45 – 15.15 Coffee (refreshments not provided)

15.15 – 16.30 Parallel sessions
Marxism and culture
Chair: Bruni de la Motte
Speakers:
David Margolies, Emeritus Professor of English at Goldsmiths, University of London
Christine Lindey, Art historian and visual arts critic

Populist Nationalism
Chair: Nisar Ahmed
Speakers:
Sitaram Yechury, General Secretary, Communist Party of India (Marxist)
Francisco Dominguez, Head of Brazil and Latin American Studies, Middlesex University London

Marxism and the environment
Chair: Richard Clarke
Speakers:
Ted Benton, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, University of Essex
John O’Neill, Hallsworth Chair in Political Economy, University of Manchester

The role of the state
Chair: Marj Mayo
Speakers:
Luo Wendong, Professor at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
Vijay Prashad, Executive Director of Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research

16.30 – 17.45
Plenary: Into the 21st century: Marxism as a force for change today
Chair: Mary Davis
Speakers:
John McDonnell MP, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer
Sitaram Yechury, General Secretary, Communist Party of India (Marxist)
Sarah Mosoetsa, Professor of Sociology, at the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Johannesburg

____________________________
2 May at 12:3019:00 EDT
In celebration of Karl Marx’s 200th birthday, the History & Theory Workshop at the University of Virginia is hosting a conference of 4 panels to discuss the continuing relevance of Marx’s writings to our world today. No invitation or ticket is required, anyone who is interested is welcome, and you are encouraged to come ready to ask questions and engage with both panelists and other attendees.

Panels

Marx & Activism: 12:30-1:30
1. Gillet Rosenblith (History), “To Lose Your Housing is Double Jeopardy: Public Housing in the United States, 1969-2001.”
2. Monica Blair (History), “Charlottesville’s General Strike: Teaching Local Histories of Black Reconstruction.”
3. Anup Gampa (Psychology), “Implicit and Explicit Racial Attitudes Changed During Black Lives Matter”
4. Lou Cross (Political & Social Thought), “The Virginia Student Environmental Coalition and Environmental Justice”

Marx & (Anti)Fascism: 1:40-2:40
1. Robert Stolz (History), “Tosaka Jun: The Uses and Abuses of Feudalism”
2. Charles Hamilton (History), “Solidarity Not Surrender: British Anti-Fascism Since 1970.”
3. Nick Scott (History), “Revolutionary Space: Cordon Industrial Vicuna Mackenna and the Chilean Road to Socialism, 1972-1973”
4. John Tiernan Low (History/Linguistics), “The Center’s Tepid Friendship with the Alt-Right and its Historical Precedents”

Marx & Social Movements: 3:00-4:00
1. Crystal Luo (History), “Asian America and the Specter of Immigration Reform, 1968-1975.”
2. Sree Sathiamma (Global Studies), “The ‘Maintenance’ of Women”
3. Gio Senzano (Philosophy), “The Proletarization of the Puerto Rican”
4. Abeer Saha (History), “Animal Factory: The Rise of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, 1945-2000.”

Marx & Culture: 4:10-5:10
1. Brooks Hefner (English, JMU), “Political Economy and Popular Culture”
2. Chris Ali (Media Studies), “Marx and the Study of Media policy: Methodologies and Expectations”
3. Jordan Bridges (Political & Social Thought), “Marx as Moral Philosopher”
4. Justin McBrien (History), “Charlton Heston: Prophet of Eco-Apocalypse or Propagandist of Eco-Resilience?”

Keynote: English Faculty Lounge, Brooks Hall, 5:30-7:00,
1. Matthew Garrett (Wesleyan University), “Reading Is Theft”

Max Weber on India Key References

Screen Shot 2017-10-28 at 17.18.37At the bottom of one of my shelves, unopened since undergraduate honours days, I have Max Weber’s book on Religions of India. got to wondering recently how he did this research, so I am going to explore. I have the Merton and the Mills, I have Reinhard Bendix, Max Weber: an intellectual portrait, University of California Press, 1977 and I plan to reread The Cambridge Companion as I had bookmarked the Mike Love essay in that called “Weber’s Orient’ where he promises, but does not I think deliver, the sort of explanation I want: ‘The grand theme of rationalisation of culture with all the ramifications this entails thus in the end is the real focus of The Collected Essays on the Sociology of Religion, a monumental but unfinished work’ (Love, in Turner and Regis 2000). I also just got the editor of the Cambridge Companion, Stephen Turner’s book with Regis Factor: Max Weber: The Lawyer as Thinker and the first pages of that look very promising. Given the recent family court stuff I have been going through, it will be good to read something other than a how to guide about the law. Though maybe there is nothing but guides (the cover of Turner’s book was worth seeing for ideas for my own next, I nicked it for this post, and linked to the book so as to be fair). When I was a visiting fellow for a year in Heidelberg you could just see Weber’s old house across the river from the Shiffsgasse where I lived – I think it was a language school by then (late 90s). My hope is that there will be a way to link up the lawyer’s interest in sociology and India with the very evidently habitual thought in Marx where nearly every important move in of the argument in Capital is then followed by an India-focussed example, reference, or graphic-poetic aside – the bleached bones of weavers on the plains, the hideous pagan idol drinking nectar in the skulls of the slain.

What are the other things I ought to must read?

More Marx on Slavery

This fascinating article by Marx was in The People’s Paper, March 1953, and earlier in the NYDT, and about a third of it was carried over into Das Kapital (p758 in the German vol 1, and in the MEGA English trans II(9): 634) has some choice words on the enclosures, the and of the Highlanders – see the show Outlander, series 2 for the beginnings of just this, also Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped, and consider how on the ball old Beardo was, giving Harriet Beecher-Stowe of Uncle Tom’s Cabin fame a drubbing along the way.

“If of any property it ever was true that it was robbery, it is literally true of the property of the British aristocracy. Robbery of Church property, robbery of commons, fraudulent transformation, accompanied by murder, of feudal and patriarchal property into private property — these are the titles of British aristocrats to their possessions”

The rest of the article keeps on giving, strange links to an unexamined rendering of Asiatic India, romance of the pre-Feudal common ownership in property, and more. Whole thing excerpted below from:  https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1853/03/12.htm

UPDATE: William Dalrymple messages to point out Marx’s error in calling the Dalrymple lawyer English. Fair call. Marx gets things wrong on the odd occasion.

 

Articles by Karl Marx in The People’s Paper

The Duchess of Sutherland and Slavery


Published inThe People’s Paper, No. 45, March 12 1853;


London, Friday, January 21, 1853 — During the present momentary slackness in political affairs, the address of the Stafford House Assembly of Ladies to their sisters in America upon the subject of Negro-Slavery, and the “affectionate and Christian address of many thousands of the women of the United States of America to their sisters, the women of England”, upon white slavery, have proved a god-send to the press. Not one of the British papers was ever struck by the circumstance that the Stafford House Assembly took place at the palace under the Presidency of the Duchess of Sutherland, and yet the names of Stafford and Sutherland should have been sufficient to class the philanthropy of the British Aristocracy — a philanthropy which chooses its objects as far distant from home as possible, and rather on that than on this side of the ocean.

The history of the wealth of the Sutherland family is the history of the ruin and of the expropriation of the Scotch-Gaelic population from its native soil. As far back as the 10th century, the Danes had landed in Scotland, conquered the plains of Caithness, and driven back the aborigines into the mountains. Mhoir-Fhear-Chattaibh, as he was called in Gaelic, or the “Great Man of Sutherland”, had always found his companions-in-arms ready to defend him at risk of their lives against all his enemies, Danes or Scots, foreigners or natives. After the revolution which drove the Stuarts from Britain, private feuds among the petty chieftains of Scotland became less and less frequent, and the British Kings, in order to keep up at least a semblance of dominion in these remote districts, encouraged the levying of family regiments among the chieftains, a system by which these lairds were enabled to combine modern military establishments with the ancient clan system in such a manner as to support one by the other.

Now, in order to distinctly appreciate the usurpation subsequently carried out, we must first properly understand what the clan meant. The clan belonged to a form of social existence which, in the scale of historical development, stands a full degree below the feudal state; viz., the patriarchal state of society. “Klaen”, in Gaelic, means children. Every one of the usages and traditions of the Scottish Gaels reposes upon the supposition that the members of the clan belong to one and the same family. The “great man”, the chieftain of the clan, is on the one hand quite as arbitrary, on the other quite as confined in his power, by consanguinity, &c., as every father of a family. To the clan, to the family, belonged the district where it had established itself, exactly as in Russia, the land occupied by a community of peasants belongs, not to the individual peasants, but to the community. Thus the district was the common property of the family. There could be no more question, under this system, of private property, in the modern sense of the word, than there could be of comparing the social existence of the members of the clan to that of individuals living in the midst of our modern society. The division and subdivision of the land corresponded to the military functions of the single members of the clan. According to their military abilities, the chieftain entrusted to them the several allotments, cancelled or enlarged according to his pleasure the tenures of the individual officers, and these officers again distributed to their vassals and under-vassals every separate plot of land. But the district at large always remained the property of the clan, and, however the claims of individuals might vary, the tenure remained the same; nor were the contributions for the common defence, or the tribute for the Laird, who at once was leader in battle and chief magistrate in peace, ever increased. Upon the whole, every plot of land was cultivated by the same family, from generation to generation, under fixed imposts. These imposts were insignificant, more a tribute by which the supremacy of the “great man” and of his officers was acknowledged, than a rent of land in a modern sense, or a source of revenue. The officers directly subordinate to the “great man” were called “Taksmen”, and the district entrusted to their care, “Tak”. Under then were placed inferior officers, at the head of every hamlet, and under these stood the peasantry.

Thus you see, the clan is nothing but a family organized in a military manner, quite as little defined by laws, just as closely hemmed in by traditions, as any family. But the land is the property of the family, in the midst of which differences of rank, in spite of consanguinity, do prevail as well as in all the ancient Asiatic family communities.

The first usurpation took place, after the expulsion of the Stuarts, by the establishment of the family Regiments. From that moment, pay became the principal source of revenue of the Great Man, the Mhoir-Fhear-Chattaibh. Entangled in the dissipation of the Court of London, he tried to squeeze as much money as possible out of his officers, and they applied the same system of their inferiors. The ancient tribute was transformed into fixed money contracts. In one respect these contracts constituted a progress, by fixing the traditional imposts; in another respect they were a usurpation, inasmuch as the “great man” now took the position of landlord toward the “taksmen” who again took toward the peasantry that of farmers. And as the “great men” now required money no less than the “taksmen”, a production not only for direct consumption but for export and exchange also became necessary; the system of national production had to be changed, the hands superseded by this change had to be got rid of. Population, therefore, decreased. But that it as yet was kept up in a certain manner, and that man, in the 18th century, was not yet openly sacrificed to net-revenue, we see from a passage in Steuart, a Scotch political economist, whose work was published 10 years before Adam Smith’s, where it says (Vol.1, Chap.16):

“The rent of these lands is very trifling compared to their extent, but compared to the number of mouths which a farm maintains, it will perhaps be found that a plot of land in the highlands of Scotland feeds ten times more people than a farm of the same extent in the richest provinces.”

That even in the beginnings of the 19th century the rental imposts were very small, is shown by the work of Mr Loch (1820), the steward of the Countess of Sutherland, who directed the improvements on her estates. He gives for instance the rental of the Kintradawell estate for 1811, from which it appears that up to then, every family was obliged to pay a yearly impost of a few shillings in money, a few fowls, and some days’ work, at the highest.

It was only after 1811 that the ultimate and real usurpation was enacted, the forcible transformation of clan-property into the private property, in the modern sense, of the Chief. The person who stood at the head of this economical revolution was a female Mehemet Ali, who had well digested her Malthus — the Countess of Sutherland, alias Marchioness of Stafford.

Let us first state that the ancestors of the Marchioness of Stafford were the “great men” of the most northern part of Scotland, of very near three-quarters of Sutherlandshire. This country is more extensive than many French Departments or small German Principalities. when the Countess of Sutherland inherited these estates, which she afterward brought to her husband, the Marquis of Stafford, afterward Duke of Sutherland, the population of them was already reduced to 15,000. My lady Countess resolved upon a radical economical reform, and determined upon transforming the whole tract of country into sheep-walks. From 1814 to 1820, these 15,000 inhabitants, about 3,000 families, were systematically expelled and exterminated. All their villages were demolished and burned down, and all their fields converted into pasturage. British soldiers were commanded for this execution, and came to blows with the natives. An old woman refusing to quit her hut was burned in the flames of it. Thus my lady Countess appropriated to herself 794,000 acres of land, which from time immemorial had belonged to the clan. In the exuberance of her generosity she allotted to the expelled natives about 6,000 acres — two acres per family. These 6,000 acres had been lying waste until then, and brought no revenue to the proprietors. The Countess was generous enough to sell the acre at 2s 6d on an average, to the clan-men who for centuries past had shed their blood for her family. The whole of the unrightfully appropriated clan-land she divided into 29 large sheep farms, each of them inhabited by one single family, mostly English farm-laborers; and in 1821 the 15,000 Gaels had already been superseded by 131,000 sheep.

A portion of the aborigines had been thrown upon the sea-shore, and attempted to live by fishing. They became amphibious, and, as an English author says, lived half on land and half on water, and after all did not live upon both.

Sismondi, in his Etudes Sociales, observes with regard to this expropriation of the Gaels from Sutherlandshire — an example, which, by-the-by, was imitated by other “great men” of Scotland:

“The large extent of seignorial domains is not a circumstance peculiar to Britain. In the whole Empire of Charlemagne, in the whole Occident, entire provinces were usurped by the warlike chiefs, who had them cultivated for their own account by the vanquished, and sometimes by their own companions-in-arms. During the 9th and 10th centuries the Counties of Maine, Anjou, Poitou were for the Counts of these provinces rather three large estates than principalities. Switzerland, which in so many respects resembles Scotland, was at that time divided among a small number of Seigneurs. If the Counts of Kyburg, of Lenzburg, of Habsburg, of Gruyeres had been protected by British laws, they would have been in the same position as the Earls of Sutherland; some of them would perhaps have had the same taste for improvement as the Marchioness of Stafford, and more than one republic might have disappeared from the Alps in order to make room for flocks of sheep. Not the most despotic monarch in Germany would be allowed to attempt anything of the sort.”

Mr Loch, in his defense of the Countess of Sutherland (1820), replies to the above as follows:

“Why should there be made an exception to the rule adopted in every other case, just for this particular case? Why should the absolute authority of the landlord over his land be sacrificed to the public interest and to motives which concern the public only?”

And why, then, should the slave-holders in the Southern States of North America sacrifice their private interest to the philanthropic grimaces of her Grace, the Duchess of Sutherland?

The British aristocracy, who have everywhere superseded man by bullocks and sheep, will, in a future not very distant, be superseded, in turn, by these useful animals.

The process of clearing estates, which, in Scotland, we have just now described, was carried out in England in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. Thomas Morus already complains of it in the beginning of the 16th century. It was performed in Scotland in the beginning of the 19th, and in Ireland it is now in full progress. The noble Viscount Palmerston, too, some years ago cleared of men his property in Ireland, exactly in the manner described above.

If of any property it ever was true that it was robbery, it is literally true of the property of the British aristocracy. Robbery of Church property, robbery of commons, fraudulent transformation, accompanied by murder, of feudal and patriarchal property into private property — these are the titles of British aristocrats to their possessions. And what services in this latter process were performed by a servile class of lawyers, you may see from an English lawyer of the last century, Dalrymple, who, in his History of Feudal Property, very naively proves that every law or deed concerning property was interpreted by the lawyers, in England, when the middle class rose in wealth in favor of the middle class — in Scotland, where the nobility enriched themselves, in favor of the nobility — in either case it was interpreted in a sense hostile to the people.

The above Turkish reform by the Countess of Sutherland was justifiable, at least, from a Malthusian point of view. Other Scottish noblemen went further. Having superseded human beings by sheep, they superseded sheep by game, and the pasture grounds by forests. At the head of these was the Duke of Atholl.

“After the conquest, the Norman Kings afforested large portions of the soil of England, in much the same way as the landlords here are now doing with the Highlands.

(R. Somers, Letters on the Highlands, 1848)

As for a large number of the human beings expelled to make room for the game of the Duke of Atholl, and the sheep of the Countess of Sutherland, where did they fly to, where did they find a home?

In the United States of America.

The enemy of British Wage-Slavery has a right to condemn Negro-Slavery; a Duchess of Sutherland, a Duke of Atholl, a Manchester Cotton-lord — never!

Notebooks (Artaud’s for example)

Screen Shot 2017-05-24 at 22.09.17Rereading Jay Murphy’s book Artaud’s Metamorphosis and thinking about the 30,000 pages of notes Marx is said to have written in the last ten years of his life – and which are only slowly being released through the MEGA. Then find Jay has the following on page 207:

Artaud’s last works are above all, an action, a setting of forces into motion. In examining how he accomplishes this, largely from the springboard of the copious 406 lined school notebooks of which there are some more than 30,000 pages, at times there is the temptation to mimic his method by fracturing the field, separating out the elements that come into conflict, such as sound image text, or even their constituent bodily sources, and it is by such recourse that I isolate the treatment of the face and the voice at the end of this chapter; to see better how they interact, meld, hover, disintegrate or invade other elements…

I won’t reproduce his analysis because the whole book needs to be bought, and the notes still need to be written, but along with Walter Benjamin’s obsession with certain notebooks, whatever was in that case, add also anthropology’s note-writing fix exemplified in Mick Taussig’s drawings for I swear I saw This, and the entire complex of more or less uncanny parallels that revolve around the lined page, schoolbook or not, I’m hankering to generate some sort of method for handling the detritus of the (allegedly) declining years. Plus starting a new journal for my eldest now.

Artaud’s Metamorphosis is available in Berlin at Buchhafen. Or by post from Pavement.

 

Marx in Algiers again

Of haircuts and Rhino coats…

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This is the worked up text of a talk I gave in Chandernagore in February 2016. The photo is one I’ve failed to trace from the dates and evidence in the letters (see below) of the visit to the barber – if anyone is good at that sort of tracking, please let me know, the photographer of the first one is E. Dutertre, and the second, if authentic, probably the same.

[Added 3 April 2018 – increasingly the suspicion that the makeover photo is photoshopped is being confirmed. Michael Krätke includes the two portraits in a recent article with the caption:

“Figure 1. Left: last photograph of Karl Marx, taken by E. Dutertre in Algiers, on 28 April 1882.Right: a photomontage based upon Marx’s own correspondence, where he said that the photo was taken just a short while before he went to the barber to have his hair cut and his beard shaved off, and shows how he may have looked after his visit to the barber.
Left: IISH Collection BG A9/383. Right: creator and origins unknown.”

Krätke, Michael 2018 ‘Marx and World History’. International Review of Social History, doi:10.1017/S0020859017000657 page 13

There is also a fiction volume called Marx’s Beard I have not yet read, and marx in Algiers, mentioned elsewhere. So this story has a few loose ends still.

And the source for all this, the photo itself, Marx writes a ps in a letter to Fred on 28 April 1882 in Algiers saying he will pick up the photo in two days. From the MEGA 3(4):

28 April 1882 aus Algiers

 

screen-shot-2017-01-08-at-21-21-48

[The rest of this article is being rewritten and will be linked to here in due course. Thanks to those who already downloaded a copy, and stay tuned for more after I deal with the substantial and helpful comments of reviewers].

 

 

Zombiiiiieeees Aiiiiiiiiii

Another volume on the horror that keeps giving (accounts of capital and how bad it is – figure people gonna wake up and do owt? Not holding my breath given the fun kids were having knocking on the door for sugar yesterday. Still). Haymarket seems to have a decent list now that’d not all trotting out the same old. This is on my list:

 

screen-shot-2016-11-02-at-00-55-48There is also an extract:

In Capital Marx writes that, like zombies, living labour under capitalism becomes ‘subservient to and led by an alien will and an alien intelligence’. In tandem, the mass of machinery to which workers are subordinated in production assumes the form of an ‘animated monster’, a monstrosity endowed with a soul and intelligence of its own. Factories, machines, assembly-lines, computerised production systems all take on a life of their own, directing the movements of labour, controlling workers as if they were merely inorganic parts of a giant apparatus. As capital assumes the form of ‘a mechanical monster whose body fills whole factories’, workers become ‘conscious organs of the automaton’. This reference to workers as organs of capital, which we also find in other Marxian texts, returns us to the theme of corporeal fragmentation. Labouring for capital, protests Marx, workers become mere appendages of this ‘animated monster’, dismembered body-parts activated by the motions of the grotesque corpus of capital.

Read more of it here.

Marx Trot Sunday August 14, 2016 #Marx #walkingtourlondon

This year the Marx Trot is planned for August 14, 2016

Meet 1pm Archway Tube.

bring enthusiasm, vox pop speechifying, money for drinks, drinks, sunscreen (we hope we will need suncreen).

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Pic above is from the Maidan, in the area near Rani Rashmoni Avenue, Lenin Sirani, S.N.Banerjee Rd,  Kolkata, West Bengal.

Previous Marx Trot itinerary (roughly followed each time): We will again be leaving from Archway tube, then to Highgate Cemetery Marx’s Grave – heading across the Heath to the Lord Southampton pub which was the old man’s local on Grafton Terrace [they also sell juice] – then onwards to Engels’ house, then to the pub where the Manifesto was adopted by the Communist League, – now a crappy cocktail bar, so we prob won’t enter – and more… All welcome (kids could surely come for the first couple of hours – but warning, its a longish walk across the heath between Highgate and the Grafton Terrace House BYO libations for the first part).

[word to the wise: bring some tinnies in a bag at the start – and sunscreen, umbrella as weather dictates and dosh for dinner (if interested in Mao’s favourite London place late on). The early part of our route involves considerable walking – on the heath – kids are very welcome for the first few hours but after 7.00 it possibly gets a bit adult oriented – well, I mean we visit pubs Marx used to haunt – gespenst-like – mostly harmless]

 

Sort of part of this course in Nottingham:

https://hutnyk.wordpress.com/2016/06/30/reading-capital-in-nottingham-every-wednesday-11am-from-july-20-until-28-sept-2016/

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Pics of the  Marx/Engels houses:

http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/photo/london/index.htm

Other links:

http://www.alphabetthreat.co.uk/pasttense/pdf/communistclub.pdf

The Marx Trot is Party agnostic and non sectarian, except against Tories, other social fascist parties, brexit-racist pogrom enablers, and the majority of the Parliamentary Labour Party, with 40 or so exceptions.

Previous trots were =

https://hutnyk.wordpress.com/2014/06/29/marx-trot-2014/

https://hutnyk.wordpress.com/2013/07/05/marx-trot-this-sunday-2-30-archway-tube-2/

https://hutnyk.wordpress.com/2012/07/03/marx-trot-2012-july-7-2/and here: https://hutnyk.wordpress.com/2011/05/21/marx-trot-29-5-2011/

 

The Great Windmill Street venue is where Liebknecht says the Manifesto was adopted by the League of the Just/German Workers Educational Association/Communist League – but some say it was at the White Hart in Dury Lane. In any case Marx lectures on Capital at Great Windmill Street, but see here:http://www.alphabetthreat.co.uk/pasttense/pdf/communistclub.pdf

For Leninists – a diversion on the trot might take in Charing Cross station, and areas near Kings Cross and Pentonville:http://sarahjyoung.com/site/2011/01/16/russians-in-london-lenin/

Dancing the first international! http://history-is-made-at-night.blogspot.co.uk/2009_10_01_archive.html

A pub crawl with Karl http://www.mytimemachine.co.uk/pubcrawl.htm

answers to all questions about trinkets, and Capital.

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